Originally Posted by nycguy
It seems as if belts are hardly touched upon on this forum (at least not nearly as much as shoes, ties, etc.). Is that because there is less of a difference among belt brands, so long as you match your belt to your shoe?
If anybody disagrees, is there a belt brand you'd recommend?
I think that there's a lot that can be said about belts. Differences in buckle shape, size, and color, width of strap, color of strap, whether the leather is plain or patterned, drop-edged or not and with or without edge stitching, and other characteristics all establish the belt's suitability and effectiveness in a particular ensemble.
For wear with a suit I prefer the following characteristics: buckle that is relatively small, rectangular, of a "skeleton" form (i.e., just the edges of the rectangle, not filled in the center), of the same color as my jewelry (watch, cufflinks, and tie clasp), strap 1 1/8"-wide (this should be governed by one's height; I'm 6 ft. even), domed, plain, of a color approximately that of my shoes (perhaps a little lighter or darker, but the same basic color, e.g., brown), with a stitched drop edge, and with double leather (not metal) keepers. A good example is the Allen-Edmonds Basic Dress Belt shown below:http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/620124/c/8609.html
As for brands, I like Allen-Edmonds, Crookhorn (who at one time made the A-E belts and may still do so), Trafalgar, and Zegna (which are a little wider, but very nice). Belts are always available in large numbers on eBay, where you'll find prices half of retail or less.
The guy we really need to come on here is Meaculpa
; this guy's an expert in belts and can clue us in to some more subtle details.